Ljubo Milicevic: A-League can't be picky when it comes to marquees

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"I don’t know how anyone in Australia can think we’re beyond taking anyone that’s had a professional career in Europe. We’re not at that level yet."

Former Socceroos and Newcastle Jets defender Ljubo Milicevic believes the A-League needs marquees and can't be too selective as to who they can get.

This week has seen the Central Coast Mariners willing to offer Usain Bolt a trial with the club, while Sydney FC narrowly missed on the signing of Fernando Torres just a few days before.

With $3 million being provided by Fox Sports to solely sign marquee players, the A-League has been linked with a number of candidates over the past month including Keisuke Honda and Peter Crouch with some fans fed up with the chase.

Milicevic however sees the value of marquees and believes the bar should be lowered to ensure more are allowed to have a positive influence on the league.

"We’re in a peculiar market in Australia where you need marquees," Milicevic told Goal

"There is a market and there are other codes in it.  Whether it be Bolt or any other names mentioned, I think they’d be great for the league and if they draw in more eyes to our beautiful game then so be it.

"If it’s good for Asia, America, South America, the Middle East as well… then I think we should be trying to capitalise on it too.

"I don’t know how anyone in Australia can think we’re beyond taking anyone that’s had a professional career in Europe. We’re not at that level yet."

Shinji Ono Alessandro Del Piero Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney Fc A-League 2012-13

The A-League has welcomed marquees like Dwight Yorke and Alessandro Del Piero to the competition in the past, with some believing the league's future lies elsewehere.

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Though admitting marquees are just one piece of a broader puzzle, Milicevic stressed the influence they can have on local players alone should also be taken into account. 

"I’m not saying marquees are a long term solution, they’re not, but they are part of a broader picture," he said.

"They’re not just marquees in the sense of attracting audiences, they give a lot back to the players they play with everyday."

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